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SPORTS UPDATE

Nigerian football in turmoil as legal battle trails NFF elections

Last week, a Federal High Court in Abuja stopped the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), election that was scheduled to hold September 30 in Benin City, Edo State.

Justice Inyang Ekwo also ruled that all parties should maintain status quo and adjourned further proceedings until October 31.

The Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria (PFAN) had filed a suit against the federation over unequal representation of all the five statutory bodies making up the NFF in terms of voting rights and representation on the NFF Board, its Congress and substanding committees.

The claimants are Harrison Jalla, Victor Baribote, Austin Popo and PFAN, while the defendants are the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF boss, Amaju Pinnick and sports minister, Sunday Dare.

What looks obvious is that the election may no longer hold in Benin City, Edo State.

There are rumours that the venue may be moved to Abuja.

Journalist and Head of News at Nigeria Info FM, Ufuoma Egbamuno, is not surprised by the latest development.

Egbamuno told DAILY POST: “Nothing surprises me anymore about Nigerian football and certainly, not this latest legal action against the NFF.

“It’s become a recurring decimal – one playbook that just gets dusted off the shelves and put to use.

“The problem is that the major actors – NFF and those taking the legal action – are all doing whatever they are doing, not for the love or development of Nigerian football but for their selfish reasons.

“So, whatever pays their bills – even if it means throwing the spanner at scheduled elections – these elements will continue to play the script.

“The crux of the matter lies in the age long debate about whether football issues can be taken to regular courts vs sovereignty of the nation and why football cannot be bigger than the laws of the land.

“And disagreements amongst stakeholders go back to more than a decade ago.

“It’s all shambles for want of a better word to explain it.”

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